Participatory budgeting best practice from Bielsko-Biała

In the framework of our EmPaci Interreg Baltic Sea Reion project we would like to present the Bielsko-Biała Participatory Budget for 2021. We hope this could be good practice also for our Gdynia Municipality, during their PB in 2020.



31 January 2020 The President of the City of Bielsko-Biała issued an order which defines the most important dates of the PB 2021 procedure.

The most important assumptions of the 8th edition of the Participatory Budget:

  • The total amount of funds allocated to the Bielsko-Biała Civic Budget for 2021 was increased to PLN 10 million, of which PLN 8.4 million was allocated to housing estate projects and PLN 6 million to general city projects. In the new distribution, each of the housing estates in Bielsko-Biała will receive PLN 280 thousand (PLN 150 a year ago) to be spent.
  • The project for the Participatory Budget for 2021 can be submitted by an resident of Bielsko-Biała.
  • For a city-wide project a list of supporters with signatures of at least 30 residents of Bielsko-Biała is required, while for a housing estate project a list of signatures of residents supporting the project is not required.
  • Voting on positively verified projects is carried out electronically by means of an interactive electronic form and by means of voting cards available at “voting points” designated by a separate order. The Mayor of the City will indicate “Voting Points” for residents and define the days and hours of their operation.
  • Voting for positively verified projects takes 15 days.
  • An inhabitant entitled to vote may cast a maximum of two votes, of which one for a city-wide project and one for a housing estate project; only an inhabitant of the given housing estate, to which the project relates, may vote for a housing estate project.
  • The implementation of the winning projects takes place in the following budget year, i.e. after the winning projects have been entered into the budget of the City of Bielsko-Biała for 2021 (hence the name PB 2021).

The schedule of the Participatory Budget of the 8th edition:

  • Stage I: Education and information campaign
    • Education and information campaign – from 1 March 2020 (EmPaci Team)
  • Stage II: Submission of project proposals by residents
    • Submission by residents of project forms to the PB for 2021 – from 23 March 2020 to 24 April 2020
  • Stage III: Evaluation and evaluation of projects
    • Formal assessment of projects submitted to the PB for 2021 – by 30 April 2020
    • Opinions on citizens’ projects due to their location by the relevant Housing Estate Councils – by 10 June 2020
    • Substantive appraisal of projects – by 19 June 2020
    • Publication of information with the results of the opinion – by 17 August 2020
    • Publication of the list of projects to be voted on taking into account the results of the appeal procedure – by 15 September 2020
  • Stage IV: Voting of residents on projects
    • Residents’ vote – from 21 September 2020 to 5 October 2020
    • Making the results of the vote public – by 12 October 2020
  • Stage V: Publication of the list of projects to be implemented
    • Announcement of the list of selected projects to be implemented in 2021 by the President of the City – by 20 October 2020
    • Entering the winning tasks in the draft City Budget for 2021, specifying the Departments or municipal organisational units to implement the projects selected by voting – by 26 October 2020